No Excuses Book Review with 5 Big Ideas from Brian Tracy

Today in the “No excuses book review” I'm giving you 5 big ideas from one of my favorite books of all time: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy.

My favorite quote from the book:

“No more excuses! Do it or don’t do it but don’t make excuses. Stop using your incredible brain to think up elaborate rationalizations and justifications for not taking action. Do something. Do anything. Get on with it! Repeat to yourself: ‘If it’s to be, it’s up to me!’ Losers make excuses; winners make progress. Now, how can you tell if your favorite excuse is valid or not? It’s simple. Look around and ask, ‘Is there anyone else who has my same excuse who is successful anyway?’ When you ask this question, if you are honest, you will have to admit that there are thousands and even millions of people who have had it far worse than you have who have gone on to do wonderful things with their lives. And what thousands and millions of others have done, you can do as well—if you try.”

– Brian Tracy

No Excuses Book Review – Top 5 Big Ideas:

1. Living on someday isle

“Not only do we all want the same things, but we all know what we have to do to achieve them. And we all intend to do those things… sometime. But before we get started, we decide that we need to take a little vacation to a wonderful fantasy place called ‘Someday Isle.’ ‘We say that ‘Someday I’ll read that book. Someday I’ll start that exercise program. Someday I’ll upgrade my skills and earn more money. Someday I’ll get my finances under control and get out of debt. Someday I’ll do all those things that I know I need to do to achieve all my goals. Someday.’ Probably 80 percent of the population lives on Someday Isle most of the time. They think and dream and fantasize about all the things they are going to do someday.”

How often do you find yourself thinking about doing something awesome but then rationalizing that it’s not a good idea?

After you quietly answer that to yourself remember the last time you heard: “I will do ________ (fill in the blank), but it’s not the right time. I got this, I got that.”

Now let me ask you this: Could you imagine Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or a guy like Michael Jordan say something like that?

My guess is probably not. And it's not an accident.

Success is not an accident. Sadly, failure is not an accident either.

Simply put you succeed when you do the things other successful people do, over and over, until these behaviors become a habit.

Likewise, you fail if you don’t do what successful people do.

We're creatures with a default mechanism, our default mechanism is that path of least resistance.

And when you live in that “Someday” place you’re taking the easy way out.

When you are not working deliberately, consciously, and continuously on things that lead to success your default mechanism is controlling your life for you.

You end up doing those fun, easy, and low-value things in the short term that lead to frustration, health problems, financial worries and failure in the long run.

The absence of self-discipline to make yourself do the harder thing now is the main cause of failure to realizing your true potential in any area of life.No Excuses Book Review

2. Thinking vs Acting

“The only real antidote for anger or worry is purposeful action in the direction of your goals. Take complete control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions, and then to get so busy working on things that are important to you that you don’t have time to think about or express negative emotions to or about anyone, for any reason.”

The fastest way to depression is to sit down and ruminate again and again about all the things that are not working.

And sadly that's a trap a lot of people fall into.

At the same time there's a secret in life most people aren't aware of, a sort of a universal law.

Issues that occupy our minds can only be solved by taking more action. And issues that occur while taking action are solved by the mind.

Lesson: If you're over-thinking something then start doing. If you're doing but not making progress start thinking.

3. Finding Your Purpose

“Aristotle wrote that human beings are teleological organisms, which simply means that we are purpose driven. Therefore, you feel happy and in control of your life only when you have a clear goal that you are working toward each day. This also means that this ability to become a lifelong goal setter is one of the most important disciplines you will ever develop.”

We are purpose driven. We NEED goals that drive us to be happy.

As Anthony Robbins says “People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.”

Now sure how to set your goals?

Think about where you see yourself in the next 5 years and then ask yourself these 7 simple questions:

  1. What is the goal I want to achieve someday?
  2. Based on my someday goal what is the one thing I can do to achieve that goal in 5 years?
  3. Based on the 5 year goal what is the one thing I can do this year to move me closer to that goal?
  4. Based on my yearly goal what is the one thing I can do this month to help achieve that goal?
  5. Based on my monthly goal what can I do this week to help me achieve my goal for this month?
  6. Based on my weekly goal what can I do today to help me achieve my goal for this week?
  7. Based on my daily goal what can I do right now to achieve it?

4. Turn Off The TV

“Your television set can make you rich or poor. If you watch it all the time, it will make you poor. Psychologists have shown that the more television you watch, the lower are your levels of energy and self-esteem. At an unconscious level, you don’t like or respect yourself as much if you sit there hour after hour watching television. People who watch too much television also gain weight and become physically unfit from sitting around too much. Your television can also make you rich—but only if you turn it off. When you turn off your television, you free up time that you can then use to invest in becoming a better, smarter, and more competent person.”

Psychologists have found that the average emotional state we experience while watching TV is mild depression and apathy.

As Brian Tracy says, it's as if a part of us *knows* that we’re not showing up where it truly matters.

5. Blaming and negative emotions

“Here is the great discovery: All negative emotions, especially anger, depend for their very existence on your ability to blame someone or something else for something in your life that you are not happy about. It takes tremendous self-discipline to refrain from blaming others for our problems. It takes enormous self-control to refuse to make excuses!”

Why is blame so bad?

Psychologists say that every time we put the blame on an external factor we give up control and responsibility.

Think about last time you felt unhappy or stressed out.

And now think if it was caused by something you couldn’t control?

In psychology this concept is called — External locus of control.

And over 90% of people believe that events in their life, whether good or bad, are caused by uncontrollable factors such as the environment, luck, other people, or some higher power.

There’s something no one can take away from you regardless of all the external influences. And that something is your attitude.

Your attitude is one of the few things in life where you have a true choice.

In other words you cannot change the random things life throws at you.

However you can change how you react to such things.

Moreover attitude is more important than anything you do.

As it can make or break families, relationships, businesses, and nations.

It is more important than school, talent, looks, or wealth.

For this reason how you react to things you can't control means everything.

And it's a choice you can make every minute of every day.

If you are in control of your attitude, you are ultimately in command of your life.

And that is the only way to truly be happy with yourself.


Hope you enjoyed the “No excuses book review” and the summary of 5 big ideas! I could've easily written a 10 000 word article on this book. It's a true life changer.

Thanks for reading and have a good one!


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